(Bloomberg) -- Babylon, a crypto startup co-founded by Stanford University engineering Professor David Tse that’s trying to bridge the gap between Bitcoin and Ethereum, has raised $70 million in its latest funding round.

Crypto venture capital firm Paradigm led the round, which also included Polychain and Bullish Capital, the company said Thursday. In December, Babylon, raised $18 million from investors including Hack VC and Framework Ventures. Babylon declined to disclose the firm’s current valuation and the arrangement of the investment, citing confidentiality. Proceeds will be used to expand the staff, as well as research and development, a representative of the firm said.

The fundraise is the latest sign that interest from the venture capital world has shifted back to Bitcoin-focused projects from Ethereum and other blockchains, where it’s traditionally easier to run software such as decentralized finance applications. Crypto investors and users have become more interested in building in the Bitcoin ecosystem after the success of Ordinals, a type of nonfungible tokens now on the oldest blockchain.

“So Bitcoin is kind of really undergoing a renaissance in the sense that now there’s a new wave of projects building on Bitcoin,” Tse said in an interview. “Historically, Bitcoin was the first blockchain, but over the years the developer community has shifted away from Bitcoin to new chains…Recently, for multiple reasons, there has been a shift of attention back to Bitcoin.”     

The interest also depended after the approval and launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the US earlier this year, as well as the Bitcoin “halving” event that took place in April. The halving cut in half the so-called mining reward, which is the amount of Bitcoin released from the network to compensate companies known as miners for validating transactions.

Babylon is a project that will enable Bitcoin as a “staking” assets to secure other blockchains. Staking is industry jargon for the mechanism that runs Ethereum and other so-called proof-of-stake blockchains. It involves locking up deposits of cryptocurrency in order to help validate transactions and secure the network in exchange for rewards paid for doing that work. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is a proof-of-work blockchain that involves miners solving complex puzzles to validate transactions. Babylon aims to allow Bitcoin holders to participate validating transactions on proof-of-stake networks, while earning yields on their otherwise idled Bitcoin.

“You can think of our project as analogous to Ethereum’s staking, but for Bitcoin,” Tse said.

For Babylon and its investors, the incentive to make Bitcoin a staking asset is great, since many Bitcoin holders have long wanted to generate yield from their Bitcoin. Returns are generated elsewhere in the digital-asset sector, especially after Ethereum completed a key revamp of its network called the Merge that transformed the blockchain to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake setup.

“In our mind, in the crypto Web3, a very important value is security,” said Tse. “So it is this security that drives this underlying decentralized world that we’re building. And so what we’re trying to advocate is that Bitcoin being such a large asset can sort of underwrite the security layer for essentially the entire Web3 ecosystem.”

Staking is one of the most lucrative corners of the digital-asset sector. Among the top three projects in decentralized finance by total value of cryptocurrencies sent to the platform, two of them fall under the staking category, Lido Finance and EigenLayer. Users have sent more than $50 billion in crypto combined to the two projects, in part to generate returns, according to data tracker DefiLlama.

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